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Emirates president apologises for travel disruptions caused by record UAE storms

written by Newsdesk | April 22, 2024

Emirates president apologises for travel disruptions caused by record UAE storms

In an open letter to customers, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, has offered his sincere apologies for the travel disruptions experienced by passengers during the past week, as record storms hit the United Arab Emirates.

On Tuesday, 16 April, the UAE experienced its highest rainfall in 75 years, with lashing storm winds and rain disrupting activity across cities. While Emirates’ 24/7 hub in Dubai remained open, flooded roads impeded the ability of customers, pilots, cabin crew, and airport employees to reach the airport, and also affected the movement of essential supplies.

Over the course of three days, Emirates had to cancel nearly 400 flights and delay many more, as their hub operations remained challenged by staffing and supply shortages. The airline diverted dozens of flights to avoid the worst of the weather on Tuesday.

Clark stated that the airline’s two priorities were to look after impacted customers and get operations back on schedule. To achieve this, Emirates suspended check-in for passengers departing Dubai, implemented an embargo on ticket sales, and temporarily halted connecting passenger traffic from points across their network coming into Dubai.

Additional resources were deployed to aid airport and contact centre teams with rebooking, and extra flights were added to destinations with large numbers of displaced customers. Over 12,000 hotel rooms were secured to accommodate disrupted customers in Dubai, 250,000 meal vouchers were issued, and more quantities of drinking water, blankets, and other amenities were provided.

As of Saturday morning, 20 April, Emirates’ regular flight schedules have been restored, and passengers previously stranded in the airport transit area have been rebooked and are en route to their destinations. A taskforce has been put together to sort, reconcile, and deliver some 30,000 pieces of left-behind baggage to their owners.


Clark acknowledged that the airline’s response has been far from perfect and that the long queues and wait times have been unacceptable. He assured customers that Emirates has taken learnings from the last few days to make things right and improve their processes.


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